Forgiveness-But Not Yet
Originally scheduled for June 21
Who is the person in your life who is most
difficult to forgive?
For a very small minority of us, this
person is someone who has done something major and completely
offending. If the subject comes up, all of our friends know exactly
where we stand on the issue — we’re not forgiving that one!
For others, the offense is not so
large; indeed, rather minor — but very annoying. It’s not the
offense which is the main barrier to forgiveness. It’s the attitude
of the person to be forgiven.
For a lot of us, it’s something so
trivial that for the most part we forget it — until someone else
reminds us of it. It’s been with us so long that it has coalesced
into a very difficult situation.
It’s not that were not going to forgive them.
We know that we should, and someday we will — but not just yet. Why
is it that we postpone forgiveness?
With some people it’s the thought
that we savor revenge. This is particularly true when the revenge is
rather petty. Someday were going to get even with that guy who
borrowed my stapler and never returned it. (“Vengeance is mine,
saith the Lord” — so don’t steal from him.)
Some of us are waiting to become a
better Christian — which, of course, is accomplished in part by
Most commonly, we’re hoping that God
forgets about the whole thing. After all, we need to receive
forgiveness from God. If we forget and postpone forgiveness thereby,
surely he forgets too? Not likely.
The subject is pertinent to communion, because
we are to take communion “in a worthy manner.” We are taught to
examine ourselves, which I submit includes examining our forgiveness
or lack of it. In communion we partake of the body and blood of our
Lord Jesus Christ; Paul in particular tells us that we must
“recognize” the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. That body,
that blood was given for your forgiveness. It is the price that God
paid to forgive you. So, in a very real sense, when you take
communion you are remembering the forgiveness of God. If you are
remembering His forgiveness for you, how can you forget your
forgiveness for others?